Posted on April 6th, 2016 by Rachel
Last year, the organization MADE: In America designated the Carroll Mansion as its “All American House” for 2016. From April 23 to July 7, 2016 the Carroll Mansion will be transformed into a showcase for some of the most innovative manufacturers and craftsmen in Baltimore and across the nation. The city expanded the celebration by inviting partner organizations in what it’s calling the “Baltimore’s American Treasures” event.
The Carroll Mansion, 2016’s “All-American House”
Located just a few blocks away from the Carroll Mansion in Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood, Historic Jonestown, is the Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM). To play our part in the celebration we’re hosting special events in recognition of the Lloyd Street Synagogue as a truly All American Synagogue. Built in 1845, the Lloyd Street Synagogue is the third oldest Jewish house of worship still standing in the United States. The building was designed by Robert Cary Long, Jr., a prominent church architect of the era. Nearly every component of the original building and its 1860 renovation were the result of American craft and manufacture from the stenciling to the wooden pews to the stained glass Star of David.
The Lloyd Street Synagogue
The museum has spent the winter researching the material history of the building – which switched hands multiple times, serving first as a traditional German synagogue, then as a reformed temple, later it became a Lithuanian Catholic Church and finally a Russian Orthodox shul. Each iteration brought new design elements into the building, holy arks and altars, mezuzot and an organ. We’ve sifted through the records to identify some of the most interesting stories of how this site was designed and built to serve the needs of successive waves of immigrants.
The oldest extant photo of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Courtesy of the Ross J. Kelbaugh Collection, JMM 1997.71.1
Not every story has been easy to trace. Where did the synagogues first Torah scroll come from? What was the origin of the church’s bells and where did they go when the church was sold? How did church chandeliers end up hanging from the ceiling of an Orthodox synagogue? Questions like these led to the idea of our “Book, Bell and Candle Mystery Experience” (offered each Sunday from May 1 through July 7 at 3pm). Our expert history sleuth will transport you into the shoes of a researcher on the trail of holy artifacts. Made in America? Or lovingly imported? Only one thing is certain – “it belongs in a museum” – the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Chandelier inside the Lloyd Street Synagogue
We’ve set three Sundays aside for activities related to design work for the whole family. On May 1 our focus is on crafts related to the building itself. It includes a closer look at the stained glass windows and the art behind them. On May 29, our “Welcome to Jonestown” free family day will feature crafts related to music in the synagogue. Finally, on June 26, we will offer demonstrations of specialized skills required to manufacture the artifacts of the synagogue – from a sofer (scribe) illustrating Hebrew calligraphy to a blacksmith making fencework.
Leaded glass window. East wall. Over ark. Lloyd Street Synagogue- Baltimore. restored 1964. IA 1024.
Come see how the Lloyd Street Synagogue and its congregations fit into the fabric of America’s material culture.
Posted on March 18th, 2016 by Rachel
Today’s JMM Insights features our quarterly highlights of fictional messages to visitor services manager, Graham Humphrey. Any resemblance to real people is pure coincidence. Hey, it’s almost Purim.
We do have one real announcement to share however. We have rescheduled our Annual Meeting. The new date for the Annual Meeting is Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Jay Perman, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
I visited the Museum last month, but was so disappointed to find out that the Paul Simon exhibit about my buddy had closed. What is the next exhibit you’ll have and how long will it run?
Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America opened on March 13 and will remain at the Museum until January 16th, 2017. Inside, you’ll find interactive activities, multimedia effects and more than 400 artifacts, documents and images. You will get to journey through the worlds of health in the mid-20th century, from med school to the doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy –and even a trip to the gym. You can also experience hands-on encounters with medicine and ethics, explore stories at the juncture of science and culture and examine the links between traditions and contemporary practices. Please visit our website, http://chickensoupexhibit.org/, to learn more. You’ll have the option of buying tickets in advance by visiting https://jmm.tixato.com/buy. However, advance tickets are not required and you can still buy them when you arrive at the Museum.
Can’t wait to see you!
OK, what is this I hear about books from overseas being imported into an exhibit about American medicine! First it was undocumented foreigners, now its foreign documents. Kindly explain yourself.
Dear Ms. Farmisht,
It is true that our exhibit on Jews and Medicine in America has rare manuscripts from the National Library of Israel, but there is a perfectly logical explanation. They are part of a collection originally gathered by Dr. Harry Friedenwald right here in Baltimore. Dr. Friedenwald was inspired by his father (both eye doctors) to explore the question of the connection between medicine and Jewish experience. His documents included Latin translations of Maimonedes and a medical diploma from an Italian renaissance university. Dr. Friedenwald gave his collection of hundreds of documents to the National Library of Israel in 1947. The NLI has sent JMM a few of these originals which we will display in a recreation of Dr. Friedenwald’s study
Some of the fabulous books the National Library of Israel has lent us.
I bought a Graceland CD and Paul Simon mug during the Paul Simon exhibit. What merchandise will you have in stock for the Medicine exhibit?
We had a great time shopping for this exhibit and we believe you will have a blast too browsing through our shop! We will sell medically themed trays, water bottles, coasters, storage tins, plates and greeting cards. We also have scientific flask style dishware, chemistry lab notebooks, posters and the newly published Beyond Chicken Soup exhibition catalogue. You can still purchase Paul Simon merchandise at a great discount such as journals, magnets, vinyl design clocks, folk music themed CDs. We even a few mugs left if you wished to purchase another for a friend! You may also notice one other addition to the shop as it has been renamed “Esther’s Place,” after our long time shop manager, Esther Weiner, who retired last year.
All this and more could be yours! Remember, JMM members get a 10% discount in the shop.
I see all this information your Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit. I have an award winning matzah ball soup recipe. Would you like my recipe?
Thank you for offering your matzah ball soup recipe, however the exhibit is more about the intersection of Jewish culture and medicine than about actual chicken soup. Yet, we will have a cook off in the fall…stay tuned for details. In the meantime, here are a few other programs coming up. This weekend, we’ll have a lecture by Dr. Edward Halperin on the Rise and Fall of the American Jewish Hospital. On April 6th, health professionals have the opportunity to network and learn more about the exhibit and then on April 17th, there will be a talk about the American Jews and the early Birth Control Movement.
Keep an eye on the calendar because this is another fun program coming up!
We are traveling a lot but we expect to be in Maryland in April. Our schedule is very busy these days –so we really would like to know more about your exhibit before we make a commitment to come and visit. Where can we find out more?
Hillary and Bernie
Dear Hillary and Bernie,
While nothing beats seeing the exhibit with your own eyes, we do have some really great background information at our special website: www.chickensoupexhibit.org. Try clicking on the “Explore” tab to learn more about each section of the exhibit (it’s also a great way to extend your experience after the visit). When the exhibit travels, we’ll be posting its upcoming schedule here too. Who knows, it might go to Washington, DC and maybe that will be a more convenient site for one of you.
Posted on February 19th, 2016 by Rachel
Last year to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz we presented a program with Shiri Sandler on the exhibit developed by the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York titled A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community. Shiri shared the story of town in which Jews had resided for centuries that has come to be known as a symbol of the Holocaust. While we wanted to create a special program for the anniversary year, JMM’s commitment to Holocaust education and fostering a deeper understanding of the impact of that history on our community and wider world is ongoing.
Fron the Kulturebund
For the past ten years we have partnered with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) in leading a highly successful collaborative Holocaust professional development opportunity. Our annual Summer Teachers Institute is a workshop teaching best practices in Holocaust education. Presenters are invited from around the country to share their knowledge and resources with our local educators. This year STI is planned for Monday, August 1st thru Wednesday, August 3rd and will focus on the art of the Holocaust. While the program is geared for educators, it is open to anyone interested in participating. For more information please contact Deborah Cardin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This February we decided to offer three programs highlighting personal dimensions of the Holocaust story. Last week Susan Sullam shared the story of her father Joel Fisher ,who following the war worked as a Monuments Man locating goods plundered by the Nazis. This Sunday at 1:00pm we have our rescheduled lecture with Gail Prensky titled Playing For Life: Art Under Tyranny, exploring the story of a group of Jewish musicians and artists who survived Nazi Germany. Then next week, in conjunction with Chizuk Amuno, we welcome Jennifer Teege, author of My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past for her presentation Discovering A Nazi Legacy: One Family’s Story. You can RSVP for Jennifer’s presentation here.
with Stephanie Satie
We are also in the process of planning one further program in remembrance of the Holocaust for later this year, again in partnership with BJC plus Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. We are very pleased to welcome Stephanie Satie back to Baltimore to perform her one woman show Silent Witness. This performance marks our 10th Annual Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program on Immigration taking place on Sunday, April 10th at Baltimore Hebrew Synagogue. The performance draws upon conversations and interviews with child survivors of the Holocaust and paints an uplifting portrait of human resilience.
Jakob Enoch Rosenbaum Bar Mitzvah from A Town Known as Auschwitz.
And we have begun planning for next February when we will bring together three exhibits connected to the remembrance of this tragic period in our history. First, the project that Shiri Sandler spoke about last year, second, from Yad Vashem Auschwitz Album: The Story of Transport. This exhibit contains the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which comes for a collection of photos taken in 1944 by either Ernst Hoffman or Bernhard Walter, two SS men stationed at the camp. Third, a project combining art and family history. Artist Lori Shocket will join us this summer to help facilitate a series of workshops where Holocaust survivors and their families are invited to develop collages reflecting their individual experiences .The pieces will be combined to create a powerful installation, showing that even in the midst of great physical destruction, the human spirit has the ability to transcend.